Death to Situationships!
One of the joys of being single is that you can be free to date as often as you like. However, unfortunately there are too many of us normalizing the concept of situationships. As well as too many of us that are confusing "situationships" and actual relationships, when we know, on a very basic level that relationships involve commitment and situationships do not.
However, despite understanding the pointlessness of situationships, I understand that there are so many people who are involved in them, and some even want assistance in understanding how to transition a situation into an actual committed relationship. And while I don't believe it's safe to think that you can successfully change the dynamic of any situationship, let alone one of 5-10 years, I am still happy to provide you with some tips for you to try.
No matter how this information serves you, my opinion is that this post act as a reference to assist with steering clear of situationships all together.
There are essentially 3 key things you need in place in order to deter a situationship, 1) expectations, 2) boundaries and 3) desire.
Understanding the need for clear expectations, boundaries and desire is essential in establishing long lasting relationships, and deterring situationships.
Let's explore these below.
The lack of clarification, or inability to set expectations in a situationship, hinder the "situation" from becoming anything more.
The discussion of expectations is super important for any real relationship to form. But in order to do this effectively you must also make sure you are communicating clearly. Engage in dialogue and ask questions that will ensure that your partner understands you. While also making an effort not to come off as insulting.
And once you've shared your thoughts and feelings, simply ask your partner "what are your thoughts". From their response I guarantee you will know immediately if you both are on the same page. However, in the event you find that you and your partner are not on the same page, don't ignore the RED FLAG(s). Count your loses and get out before it's too late. Best case scenario, however, if your partner understands and agrees with you, you've set the foundation for future intimate conversations. Conversations that give way to you all not only getting to know each other better, but also getting on one accord with regard to the future of the relationship.
"Where there's confusion and mystery, there will never be clarity..." -Audreyanna Garrett (AudriWrites)
A lack of boundaries will certainly have you situationship bound. Boundaries also ensure that you are clear about the expectations and terms of the relationship. Boundaries essentially enforce the expectations.
When there are no clear boundaries you don't know how to manage feelings and emotions. And despite popular opinion, without boundaries, you can just as easily develop feelings in a situation, as you can in a relationship. But while emotionally intelligent individuals can easily spot this deficit in others and recognize whether they will potentially be wasting their time, emotionally unintelligent people don't see any harm in someone else developing feelings and attachments that they in turn never intended to develop.
That is why situationships typically shy away from boundaries, because no one wants to put boundaries on fun. But as you'll quickly learn, emotionally unavailable people don't want to and can not commit anyway. Which explains why it's so easy to get away from creating and establishing boundaries, so as not to rock the boat or discuss anything that resembles attachment and requires an emotional response.
So if your really want to redefine a situationship, boundaries are extremely necessary.
The most important of the three is desire, the willingness to put in effort to create a solid relationship is key. This, in my opinion, is most important because it too encompasses intention. Desire allows you to see how much someone values you. It also allows you to examine your own desire and intention. Essentially, both parties have to equally want the same thing to have the same expectations.
But lack of desire can be the very reason situations stay situations. And quite frankly, if one or more of you don't desire more than a situationship, then you won't have more.
Now knowing all of this, ask yourself if you're currently in a situationship? Then consider whether you want to be situationally single forever.
Because the odds of a 20 year old situations, turning into either two year marriages or 40 year of situation has greater odds than you being able to shift from a situationship to a real relationship.
It is my hope, however, that you'll steer clear of situationships once and for all, and normalize being in appropriate and intentional relationships.
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